Dear Enterprise Iain,

How do I choose an accountant? I have to confess a feeling of dread about choosing an accountant. I mean aren’t they all the same? Do they tut when you do things go wrong? Indeed how do I know how to choose the right kind of accountant? Do I go on gumtree and search “accountants for small businesses”? Should I trust a friend’s recommendation?

Actually do I really need to choose an accountant anyway? Can I not just do it myself?

Rachel

Dear Rachel

As the world’s first Enterprise Agony Uncle I have had my fill of choosing accountants and believe me it is not a simple as people think. When I chose my first accountant I made a big mistake. I chose a school friend. The starting point was that I had never actually known any accountants, let alone been in a position to choose one.

What do you look for when you wanted to choose an accountant? A nice suit? A grey face and a stern demeanour ?As a result I did what most new start businesses do I chose somebody I knew socially. I will explore this topic in greater detail but what I want to get across is that in the accompanying YouTube post my aim is simple – to help you understand that accountants are like Cornish Pasties. They come in all shapes and sizes and flavours. That may come as a surprise to some of you who have not tasted the delights of the cheese and bean pasty but that simply underscores my point. When choosing an accountant choose one that suits your taste. It’s personal. It’s a relationship.

When choosing an accountant choose one that suits your taste. It’s personal. Click To Tweet

When I chose my first accountant I thought I needed somebody sombre and conservative. What a mistake. He was and simply did not understand what I wanted to do. So I changed and found another one. Guess what? They were not much better. What I realised was that I should not be going down the traditional route. I needed somebody who understood my market and was efficient and creative. They did not tut because I was not like them. They complimented my weaknesses.

That is why you need to spend time choosing your accountant because like some Cornish Pasties they can be very hard to digest.